KACST scientist wins US physics award

Updated 20 August 2014

KACST scientist wins US physics award

Dr. Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, a leading woman research scientist in experimental particle physics at the National Center for Nanotechnology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Riyadh, has been selected as the first non-American woman for ‘Women Physicist of the Month’ award for August 2014 given by the American Physical Society (APS).
“APS, the world’s second largest organization for physicists with a non-profit membership, has chosen Dr. Badhrees as the first non-American woman-physicist to be granted the ‘Woman Physicist of the Month’ for August 2014 for her enriching role and positive impact on the physics community,” an official at KACST media department said on Tuesday.
APS has also nominated Dr. Badhrees to be a referee for scientific posters at APS international conference in April, the official said.
Moreover, she has received an invitation from the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP), founded in 1972 to address the encouragement and career development of women physicists, to take part in its program entitled, “Development of professional skills of woman-physicists” which it will organize at Savannah, the oldest city in the US state of Georgia.
Confirming the distinguished honor, APS in a statement on its website said, “Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, a leading research scientist in experimental particle physics, is not only a distinguished fellow of New Westminster College, but also the first Saudi woman with a PhD
to work in the National Center for Mathematics and Physics at KACST.”
“Her role with CERN, the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics, as the first and only Saudi woman to join the organization as a user researcher in 2006 is notable, apart from her service as a CERN courier in 2006 as in this role, she was published in several magazines and journals and participated in several interviews nationally and internationally.”
CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, is headquartered in Geneva.
Dr. Badhrees has received many awards throughout her career and gained much recognition including the Saudi Arabian cultural mission academic excellence award in 1996, 1997 and 2007.
APS further maintained that Dr. Badhrees, has on many occasions, provided services to the physics community through the organization of workshops and presentation of talks in different countries to trigger the enthusiasm and passion of the younger generation of scientists in natural science especially in the field of high energy physics.
APS is the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity, as it also provides effective programs in support of the physics community and the conduct of physics besides its collaboration with national scientific societies for the advancement of science, scientific education and the science community.


Pentagon awards United Launch Alliance, SpaceX launch contracts

Updated 09 August 2020

Pentagon awards United Launch Alliance, SpaceX launch contracts

  • The two companies lay claim to billions of dollars in lucrative military contracts for a span of five years

WASHINGTON: The US Air Force said it awarded United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Elon Musk’s SpaceX $653 million in combined military launch contracts under the Pentagon’s next-generation, multibillion-dollar launch capability program.

The contracts are for launch service orders beginning in 2022 and allocate $337 million to ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp., and $316 million to SpaceX for the first missions of roughly 34 total that the two rocket firms will support through 2027.

ULA will receive a contract for approximately 60 percent of those launch service orders using its next-generation Vulcan rocket, while Musk’s SpaceX, using its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, will receive approximately 40 percent, the Air Force’s acquisition chief Will Roper told reporters on Friday.

The awards are part of the Pentagon’s 2014 mandate from Congress to curb its dependency on rockets using Russia’s RD-180 engine and transition to US-made rockets for launching Washington’s most sensitive national security payloads to space.

The program, called National Security Space Launch Phase 2, is aimed at “building a competitive industry base that we hope doesn’t just help military and national security missions, but that helps our nation continue to compete and dominate in space,” Roper added.

“Today’s awards mark a new epoch of space launch thatwill finally transition the Department off Russian RD-180 engines,” Roper said in a statement.

The two companies lay claim to billions of dollars in lucrative military contracts for a span of five years that competitors Blue Origin, the space company of Amazon.com Inc. owner Jeff Bezos, and Northrop Grumman also competed for.

Blue Origin Chief Executive Bob Smith said in a statement he was “disappointed” in the Pentagon’s decision, adding that the company will continue to develop its heavy-lift New Glenn rocket “to fulfill our current commercial contracts, pursue a large and growing commercial market, and enter into new civil space launch contracts.”